Schools are shutting down shop classes across the country and it's up to parents to raise the next generation of car nuts. Don't worry, because Jalopnik readers have ten surefire ways to convert your children into total gearheads.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
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Photo Credit: FurLined
10.) Drive with them
Suggested By: McMike
Why it's effective: Even before you can talk to your kids, you can take them driving. Go out into the country, go fast, let them swing around in their child seat and watch them laugh. Well, don't watch them too long, or you'll crash into a tree. Eyes on the road!
Photo Credit: p1cr/YouTube
9.) Buy toy cars
Suggested By: Ravey Mayvey Slurpee
Why it's effective: Now that your kids sort of understand that cars can be fun, you can show them all the amazing machines you'll never be able to actually drive. When it's dark and cold and raining, they can still play with tiny '69 Mustangs and Porsche 917s in the living room, imagining driving for themselves.
Photo Credit: beketchai
8.) Take them to car shows
Suggested By: mkbruin Tebows while Rome burns
Why it's effective: Playing with toy cars is all about imagination and dreaming what life would be like behind the wheel… like video games, but more open-ended. But you've got to help that imagination along, so take your kids to car and auto shows. Show them the creativity that adults pour into cars, and give them ideas about rare exotics and restored classics and all of the brand new models.
Most importantly for your kid, though, is that you're spending time with them and enjoying something together.
Photo Credit: CarSpotter
7.) Take them to car races
Suggested By: GasGuzzler
Why it's effective: Car shows are wonderful for getting your kids to recognize the slightest difference between the original and the facelifted Audi R8, but what you really want is to get them hooked on motor racing. You spend just as much time with your kids, but there is so much more to experience in terms of sound and smell and car culture.
Photo Credit: imelda
6.) Use reverse psychology
Suggested By: mingoesbueno
Why it's effective: If none of your previous efforts are working, it's time to go complete reverse psychology. Buy a Prius. Box up all the toy cars. Stop going to car shows. Become the opposite of a gearhead and with any luck, your children will grow up to resent you, hate everything you stand for, and rebel.
And what will they turn to now that you're an anti-gearhead? They'll turn to cars of course! Your children will be bombing around in primer-covered beaters in no time. Success!
Photo Credit: Marada
5.) Watch Top Gear together
Suggested By: ncasolo
Why it's effective: Top Gear isn't just a good car show; it's a good show, period. When you sit down to watch TV with your kid, show them how to blow up caravans, shoot cars onto a giant dart board, jump a bus over motorcycles, and everything else the crews do.
Photo Credit: Top Gear
4.) Read with them
Suggested By: teampenske3
Why it's effective: Your kids are still too young to drive, but they can dream and toy cars aren't doing it anymore. Turn them on to the best car writing out there. British buff books like CAR and EVO, back issues of Car and Driver, or whatever else you can get out of the library/the dustiest corner of the garage.
You don't have to read with them, you can just show them the books and mags and where to find more.
Photo Credit: Mark Allanson
3.) Race them in karts
Suggested By: Viperfan1
Why it's effective: We're not talking about turning them into a race car driver, hoping to make the next Lewis Hamilton. Just taking them out to those little karts after the roller coaster is going to make some of the fondest memories your kids will have.
Photo Credit: Roslyn in Starfish Island
2.) Work on the car together
Suggested By: wolc
Why it's effective: Wrenching together with your kids makes collective projects and teaches a lot more than an appreciation for automobiles. You don't even have to get them to turn a wrench. Just get them involved, like PonyTunerHVA's dad did without even knowing it.
My dad did it unintentionally (He is inclined, but doesn't see a car as anything more than a tool) when I watched him change his own brakes on his then new ‘86 Hyundai Pony. He was doing it to save a few bucks, as we were new immigrants.
And then I went to the junkyard with him at the age of 7 or 8... And I remember begging my dad to take me there, and he would help me take apart instrument clusters and remove car emblems, switches, and other little things. I then played with them, and made things from them.
Now, 29 cars later, I race them and rebuild my own engines (as well as create crazy hybrids), with my dad wondering, "where did I go wrong, why isn't he a diplomat...
Photo credit: FFTEC Motorsports/YouTube
1.) Teach them to drive stick
Suggested By: kojo0513
Why it's effective: You've raised your kids to love everything about cars without ever having them behind the wheel of a real, full-sized automobile. They're finally old enough and you have one last responsibility: teach them how to drive stick.
By now your kids are bratty teens and will chafe at every bit of advice you give them, taking a couple years off the life of your clutch and giving you a few more grey hairs, but it will be worth it. They will have learned how to drive and they will have learned how to drive properly.
Congratulations, you've followed Jalopnik's ten step guide and the whole gearhead world stands before your kids. Now make sure all your insurance is in order because gearhead teens do stupid things.
Photo Credit: Esther Harlow